Popular British punk band Slaves change their name to Soft Play

British band Slaves announced they have changed their name to Soft Play and apologized for any offense caused by their original name.

The British punk rock duo, consisting of frontman Laurie Vincent and drummer Isaac Holman, have been performing under the name Slaves since the band’s formation in 2012, but have faced backlash over the name’s historical connotations.

The band, who have been on hiatus since 2018, issued a statement announcing their return, but said beforehand, “We want to address something important.”

“When we called our band Slaves, it was just meant as a nod to everyday life,” the two wrote in a post on their new official Instagram page.

They continued, “As younger men, we reacted to criticism of the name out of fear and defensiveness.”

“We felt cornered and our own pride made us fight for a name we weren’t even sure we wanted anymore. At times it felt like our band name defined us and we were afraid of what might happen if we changed it.”

“However, we now recognize that our original intent doesn’t change the fact that the Slaves name is a problem,” Vincent and Holman explained.

    Laurie Vincent of Slaves performs on stage at Splendor In The Grass 2019 in Byron Bay, Australia on July 19, 2019.
The band said the name Slaves should reflect everyday life.
Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

“In this day and age, we believe it’s very important that people change and make improvements, no matter how far away they are,” they added.

“The name no longer represents who we are as people or what our music stands for. We would like to sincerely apologize to anyone we have offended.”

While the two acknowledged that people might have “differing opinions” about their former moniker, they expressed hope that their fans would “accept and respect our decision and not continue the argument between you guys.”

The couple noted, “When it comes down to it, the music and community surrounding our band is what matters most, and we want nothing to stand in the way of that community being as inclusive as possible.

“Our music is for everyone and everyone.”

The band went on to say that they would be performing together again under the Soft Play name.

“We are very happy to be back together and excited for what the future holds,” they concluded.

The duo’s 2015 debut alum Are You Satisfied? peaked at number 8 on the UK Albums Chart and was nominated for a Mercury Music Prize. Their follow-up albums, 2016’s Take Control and 2018’s Act of Fear and Love, both entered the UK Top 10.

In 2015, the band were featured in a Fader article entitled Why Would A Band Of White Dudes Name Themselves Slaves?

At the time, Vincent Fader said that he and Holman were surprised by the criticism of the band’s name. He explained that when they wanted to come up with a name, they were looking for “an aggressive-sounding word like Clash.”

“We just liked the word. We didn’t try to provoke,” he added.

Vincent told the outlet, “Someone once wrote on our Facebook wall, ‘Nobody except African Americans has the right to use the word slave.’

He continued, “Obviously, a lot of words have two meanings — when you say ‘I feel like a slave at work’ or ‘I’m a slave to routine,’ there is no disrespect to the slave trade.”

“You have to use words or you’ll just be scared of everything. We already live in a society where people are afraid of how they interpret themselves and it’s getting harder and harder.”

https://nypost.com/2022/12/11/popular-uk-punk-band-slaves-changes-name-to-soft-play/ Popular British punk band Slaves change their name to Soft Play

Emma Bowman

Emma Bowman is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Emma Bowman joined USTimeToday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with Emma Bowman by emailing EmmaBowman@ustimetoday.com.

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